Use Your Driver License as a Veteran ID

If you’re like many veterans, you don’t carry your military discharge papers around with you as proof of your military service. That can be a drawback when you want to confirm that you are eligible for a veterans discount, take advantage of a free meal being offered on Veterans Day or just show off your pride of military service.

When you add the veteran designation to your California driver license, consider the problem solved. Your driver license now doubles as a veteran ID card — and you may discover some unknown benefits due to you in the process.

Some 64,000 California veterans have already applied for the veteran designation, which makes it easier to access privileges and benefits if you don’t have a retired military ID or VA ID.

You will need to start by bringing your DD-214 to a County Veterans Services Office (CVSO) to have your veteran status verified. While you’re there be sure to ask about other benefits you may be eligible for. CVSOs offer assistance with preparing claims for disability, pension, compensation, education benefits, medical care and death benefits, such as burial allowances.

To apply for the designation, complete the following steps:

  1. Begin by taking your DD-214 to a CVSO to obtain a Veteran Status Verification Form. To find a local CVSO, call 844-737-8838 or check our web listing. While you’re there, be sure to ask about other benefits you might be eligible for.
  2. Make an appointment to visit the DMV by scheduling online or calling 1-800-777-0133. You must bring the completed and stamped Veteran Status Verification Form and driver license application to your appointment at a DMV field office.
  3. Pay your one-time $5 designation fee, in addition to any other application fees associated with a renewal, duplicate or original driver license and/or ID card.

In the two years since Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. signed legislation authorizing a veteran designation on California driver licenses and identification cards, more than 64,000 veterans have applied and the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has issued more than 55,000.

When you’re ready to apply, it’s easy to get started. Contact your local CVSO today.